Association News

Design Competition produces marketable winning entries.

Press Release Summary:

Apr 13, 2007 - To find and reward new talent and design ideas, Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation conducted International Aluminum Extrusion Student Design Competition. The judges all agreed with how exciting it is to see unique concepts that students come up with that are not constrained by prior knowledge; this unfiltered viewpoint lets them think creatively outside of the box. First Place was awarded to Ilya Yakubov for extruded aluminum MP3 holder.

American Architectural Manufacturers Association - Schaumburg, IL

Original Press Release

2007 Student Design Competition Produces Marketable Winning Entries

Press release date: Mar 26, 2007

WAUCONDA, IL, March 26, 2007 -- In an effort to find and reward new talent and design ideas, the Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation) conducts the annual International Aluminum Extrusion Student Design Competition. This year's Design Competition judges awarded four industrious design and engineering students in three winning categories. Prizes, sponsored by Hydro Aluminum North America, were awarded for First, Second, and Third Place.

Judging for the 2007 Aluminum Extrusion Student Design Competition was conducted by members of the aluminum extrusion industry and academia, which included Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) Chairman-elect Craig Werner; Joseph Benedyk, Research Professor in the Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering department at Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as contributing editor to Light Metal Age magazine; and Greg Rajsky, CAE, Executive Director of the ET Foundation.

First Place, earning a prize of $3,000, was awarded to Ilya Yakubov, a senior at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for his design of an extruded aluminum MP3 holder. The design accommodates popular MP3 players, as well as some cell phones. According to Yakubov, a minimalistic design was used where form follows function. Yakubov attributes the efficiency of the extrusion process to being able to produce a product with fewer parts at a reduced cost. Noting that any MP3 player accessory would have a significant market, one of the judges noted that the design was adaptable yet had a clean, structural look. "I could see this product put into production immediately as a huge success - it combines function with aesthetics and reeks of hi-tech, even though it is really just a simple stand, displaying MP3 players in an easily accessible and viewable fashion," commented Werner.

Second Place, earning a prize of $2,000, was awarded to Vicki Kohanek, an industrial design major from University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for her extruded aluminum kitchen fire extinguisher storage unit. Kohanek chose extruded aluminum for its strength and lightweight characteristics allowing the unit to hold its shape while carrying the weight of the fire extinguisher and accompanying supplies, as well as mounting effortlessly to a wall or cabinet door. The three-compartment storage unit holds a fire extinguisher, flashlight, and first aid kit. Werner remarked that the design defined what should be included in the kit while holding them in an organized and easily manageable fashion. "I could see this becoming an item we would see under many kitchen cabinets or sinks in the future."

Third Place was awarded to two sophomore industrial design students at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, who will share the $1,000 prize for their individual entries. Jordan Bailey designed a buffet side table specifying extruded aluminum because of its "easier construction, maintenance, and usability characteristics" also noting that aluminum is affordable, available, and has the ability to be recycled and reused. "Aluminum surfaces, easy to clean, are well suited to food-service applications; extruded profiles are well suited to a linear application such as a buffet counter," noted Rajsky. There are only a few parts to the design consisting of the buffet bar itself and a small set of connected rods that allow rotation. The simplicity of the design combined with the lightweight nature of aluminum makes the buffet bar both easy to produce for the manufacturer, as well as easy to assemble and maintain for the end user.

Sharing Third Place was Louis Filosa's WilloWall design, an extruded aluminum wave-like wall texture consisting of three main parts: concave and convex waves with a mounting rack; rubber caps may be used to keep out dust, pests, or other small objects and accompanying rack for mounting. In keeping with his own design philosophy, Filosa tried to achieve a design with a modern style that's new and unusual while also being functional. Filosa noted that the "design utilizes the complex form that aluminum extrusion can have," creating a strong yet aesthetically pleasing texture for both indoors and out. Filosa feels that the most interesting and unique attribute of the WilloWall is movement; given its thin-wall construction and interior structural wall, wind will make it appear to be a living, moving wall. Potential uses for the WilloWall include adding visual appeal to buildings, hiding damage, concealing wires, or decreasing exterior material cost. While the judges thought the design concept was aesthetically pleasing, "the multiple hollow design is neither cost-effective nor necessary." The judges suggested that it likely could be redesigned to "utilize more of a semi-hollow die with many critical tongues."

Impressed with the quality of ideas and sophisticated presentation, the judges noted that they were amazed at the range of product possibilities the students created out of aluminum extrusions. The judges all agreed with how exciting it is to see the unique concepts that students come up with that are not constrained by prior knowledge; often this unfiltered viewpoint lets them think creatively outside of the box. Unfortunately, not all students can receive a prize or recognition for their design efforts. "Knowing how pressured and loaded students are today with courses at the university, their participation in the Design Competition deserves applause, not only for their efforts but also for their seeking to look beyond the classroom. The ET Foundation provides an educational opportunity in thinking about the world beyond graduation," offered competition judge Joseph Benedyk.

Since 2004, Hydro has been the exclusive prize sponsor for cash awards in both the Student and Professional categories. To further support academic participation, they lso sponsor a special award - the Hydro Sustainable Design Award - recognizing the student entry that best addresses societal or environmental issues.

This year Hydro has elected not to give the Hydro Sustainable Design Award. "While there were several intriguing design submissions, none demonstrated sufficient focus on fundamental societal or environmental issues to merit the award," explains Lynn Brown, Vice President of Communications and External Affairs for Hydro Aluminum.

To win the Hydro Sustainable Design Award the entry must be a viable extrusion-based product that meets the demands of the environment while contributing to the quality of life for its intended users. Examples would be a device that helps a third world farmer increase crop yields with less labor or an item that facilitates daily living for the handicapped or elderly.

A total of 46 entries from seven different schools were submitted. The entries were judged on how well they demonstrated the benefits of aluminum extrusion, whether by designing a new product or improving an existing one. The winning designs were those that met one or more criteria such as marketability, practicality, creativity, and aluminum extrusion process improvement. Winning designs from previous Design Competitions and information on criteria for submitting an entry can be found at the ET Foundation's website at www.etfoundation.org.

The next Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2008 and will be open to both students and professionals. Winning designs from the 2008 Design Competition will be announced at the Ninth International Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar-ET '08-in Orlando, Florida. The ET Seminar series is the world's longest-running educational event devoted to all facets of the aluminum extrusion industry, including aluminum profile production, die design and technology, metallurgy, equipment, and product applications featuring the brightest ideas and freshest breakthroughs. ET attracts industry professionals from around the globe, including more than 50 countries. ET '08 is produced by the Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation) in conjunction with the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC).

The Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation has been established for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes to develop, promote, provide, and fund education and research related to aluminum extrusion processes and technologies.

AAMA disclaims any endorsement or support of the information and/or programs discussed in this article, which has been reprinted strictly for informational purposes